WrestleMania 33 is just days away. Outside the Universal Title and presumed ‘main event’ of the Ultimate Thrill Ride, the build for every other match hasn’t quite been Shakespeare but it would make 1998 Vince McMahon proud. Will any of the matches on this year’s biggest show be remembered among the WWE’s top WrestleMania matches? (Cough) Chris Jericho/ Kevin Owens, anyone?
There has been an entire catalog of great wrestling matches and stories told throughout the first 32 years of Wrestlemania’s existence. Narrowing it down to a list of five was not only difficult, I lost sleep. My first child will be born in two weeks, you better believe I’ll stay up countless hours telling her how I got it all wrong.
In no particular order……
(Number 6 would have been Shawn Michaels v. Razor Roman from Mania 10 but I tried to only have one match per wrestler)
5. Hulk Hogan v. Ultimate Warrior WrestleMania 6
Yeah, I get it, I’m starting a best match list with Hogan and Warrior who aren’t exactly known for their wrestling skills but this match holds a deeper meaning. This was the first wrestling period I can sorta of remember being four years old and all. Hogan had dominated the first few Wrestlemania’s. The Hulkster was leaving to make a movie so putting over Warrior was supposed to be the opening for a new top baby face. Too bad we all know that didn’t happen the way anyone wanted it to.
The match wasn’t a four star fight by any means but a great story was told and, surprisingly, the match wasn’t a rest hold fest and there was action outside the ring, damn it.
4. The Hardy Boys v. The Dudley Boys v. Edge & Christian: Wrestlemania 16
An entire pay per view has become based on the two matches The Hardys, Dudleys, Edge and Christian put their bodies through. Thirteen years later the WWE, Indy wrestlers and promotions across the world are having the same type of hard hitting, risk taking matches that took place in Walt Disney’s backyard.
From a story telling stand point there is plenty of back and forth title matches and exchanges between these teams to assure a match of this type and magnitude was necessary. Maybe, the only way to prove who was the best tag team of the Attitude Era.
3. Triple H v. Daniel Bryan Wrestlemania 30
Going into WrestleMania 30 it was supposed to be Triple H against CM Punk and Bryan against Sheamus, or some other dumb match. Punk quit and the rest is history.
Daniel Bryan’s status as a B+ player was finally over. It was time for the Indy darling to become the top face in the WWE. Unfortunately, the years caught up to Bryan much sooner than later and Daniel had to retire. Could you imagine a typical Raw if Bryan didn’t have to retire? Finn, Joe, Aries etc. Sadly Bryan’s run and legacy as a top guy was short liveed but he will always be immortal because of that night in New Orleans.
Triple H’s legacy as one of the hardest hitting villains in WWE’s history may not be more illustrated in the lead up and match at WrestleMania 30. Arguably, this match could be both Bryan and Triple H’s best work in the WWE.
2. Stone Cold Steve Austin v. Bret Hart WrestleMania 13
Had it not been for the odd couple episodes of Raw where The Undertaker would help Sycho Sid retain the title against Bret Hart the two giants wouldn’t have to follow what some call one of the greatest professional wrestling matches of all time.
Instead, Undertaker and Sid had to go out and not only follow but main event a WrestleMania that should have ended after a Stone Cold passed out from blood pouring out of his head while Bret placed the sharpshooter on Austin after both men beat the living hell out of each other. Note: JR’s commentary during this match is all time great.
- The Undertaker v. Shawn Michaels Wrestlemania 25
You may remember the polar opposite entrances, the white and black representation for each Superstar. But one thing is certain: you should remember this as the best wrestling match in Wrestlemania’s history.
Michaels and The Dead Man have a history dating back to the early 90’s but only faced off inside the square circle just a handful of very important times. From The Kliq to the Bone Street Krew to the Hell in a Cell debut there is one thing that is certain; Shawn Michaels against The Undertaker will always be money.
Until next time, enjoy Mania, leave a comment, tell a friend, follow me on Twitter @CamDougharty and let’s talk wrestling.